Monday, 1 January 2018

More news - not all of it depressing.

CLEARLY we are all working very hard on the probable terrible fate of our wonderful gas holder. There is lots of stuff around on many local blogs and newsheets.  Everyone is being urged to contact the Council planners and tell them what they think.  

The Council is in a very difficult position. A Certificate of Immunity from Listing has been issued by the Goverment agency.  Immediately the owners, Southern Gas Networks, have told the Council that they intend to demolish it and are asking the Council to approve their demolition plan.  They have followed the same plan with other local councils, and holders are coming down despite widespread public protests. Local listing can be done -but it has no legal force if the owners decide to go ahead and demolish anyway. That shouldn't stop us making a fuss - at the best we can buy time.

Subterranea Britannica

Their 'magazine' arrived the other day. Full of interest and some of it about Greenwich.

First - they have an item about the work done by veteran underground explorer Harry Pearman and the Chelsea Spelaelogical Society Records, and how good they are and what a collection of information.  They don't say - but some of the best work is about Greenwich - all sorts of things from the Park Conduits, Plumstead Mines and obscure bits of Blackheath can be found there. I know - but they don't say - that Harry worked for Greenwich Planning Department in the 1960s, hence all this info.   Its been a great source for everyone since.

An article by Mark Chatterton describes 'The Road Tunnels of Great Britain' which briefly describes our own Blackwall as 'in the east of London and built  to carry goods between the docks on the north and south banks of the river Thames' - eh?? where does that come from.  Anyway the Blackwall should have had much more than a brief mention - its a triumph of engineering over too much traffic!  He also mentions The Silvertown Tunnel ' it is planned to be open by 2021'. oh ho!

Another article is about the Thames Tunnel Tour in October. In this foray a group of people began on the Waterloo and City line, or at least they looked at it and then went on the Northern Line to Embankment. They then went on the Circle Line to Tower Hill and had a look at the Tower Subway (from above, you can't go down there) So they went on the DLR to Cutty Sark and then lunch, and back over to the Isle of Dogs through the Foot Tunnel. And then back on the DLR to Limehouse and then they walked back through the Rotherhithe Tunnel (aaargh!!).And then - the highlight - to the oldest tunnel of them all, Brunel''s Thames Tunnel and the East London Line. So - Greenwich was their lunch break!!!  They do mention some interesting things though.

You can get copies of this through the Sub Brit web site -


Crossness Record

More news from Crossness Engines

- the chimney. a  whole page article about the chimney which once stood at the works - to keep the many people who ask about it informed

- a report from Petra, their Outreach Worker.  Petra works with local schools - for example in September Charlton's Cherry Orchard School paid a visit - the trust is also now employing an Education Assistant, Calleen Everitt

-  news of RANG - and the arrival of Busy Basil from Haig Hall in Wigan

-  the formation of a wildlife pond - and the possible installation of toad ladders

- and they still need volunteers. If you want information on this get on to Greg


Call for papers on Maritime Animals.  They seem to want not so much marine wildlife but stuff like the ship's cat (and attendant rats).
The conference will be at the National Maritime Museum April 26-27th 2019. Contact
They are also looking for good maritime animal stories in addition to the papers


this includes

- item on Air Quality Strategy for the Port of London as a UK Port first. A consultation paper is available from the PLA consultation ends on 23rd January.

- Thames Skills Academy - first appreentices. This is a scheme for deck apprentices and engineering appentices.

- advert for a new book on the heritage of the Tidal Thames - this is a Museum of London Archaeology book and is really about their work along the foreshore.  Its £15 and you can get it from PLA or the Museum.


We are told by the Council conservation department that they have been told that Historic England have issued an imunity to listing document for the oldest range of Siemens buldings 18-32 Bowater Road.  They do not think that Siemens was significant enough.

I am aware that a lot of people are getting together info to challenge this - and any one interested is encouraged to contact   Siemens - who closed as long ago as the 1950s - were a major international firm working mainly in telecoms and also cable. To say there were no significant is ignorant and insulting.  Please support a bid to get this overturned.


- and while we are on about Siemens- Brian Middlemiss from the Siemens Society send all at GIHS best wishes for Christmas and the New Year


Docklands History Group

Any post-graduate or PhD student working on a subject related to the history of the Port of London and/or the River should contact Edward Sargent for details of a working group and how papers can be contributed.

Please also look at their facebook page


Finally  - we have a copy of a very very good book from Museum of London about the archaeology and history of Deptford Dockyard.  More on that soon

No comments: